Title

Decoding Nonverbal Communication And Clinical Effectiveness

Date of Award

1982

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Counseling Psychology

Abstract

In an attempt to isolate and examine one counselor/therapist variable that successful clinicians have in common this study investigated the relationship between the counselor's ability to decode nonverbal communication and clinical effectiveness.The instrument used to measure the counselor's ability to decode nonverbal communication was the Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity (PONS). The instruments used to measure client change, from which clinical effectiveness was inferred, were the Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE), and the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory (BLRI). The MCMI was used to measure change in psychological symptoms. The RSE was used to measure change in self-esteem. The BLRI was used to measure perceived counselor offered facilitative conditions.Thirty counselors-in-training enrolled in a one semester Counseling Practicum at the University of Miami and one of each counselor's clients served as subjects for this study. The clients took the MCMI and RSE pre and post treatment. They also took the BLRI post treatment only.There was a significant (p (LESSTHEQ) .05) positive relationship between client improvement in psychological symptoms and counselor ability to decode nonverbal communication. In particular, there was a significant positive relationship in client improvement in the symptoms of anxiety (p (LESSTHEQ) .01) and depression (p (LESSTHEQ) .05) and counselor ability to decode nonverbal communication.Significance was not reached, however, between the relationships between change in self esteem, perceived counselor offered facilitativeness and counselor ability to decode nonverbal communication.It appears then that the ability to decode nonverbal communication has a relationship to clinical effectiveness and further research into this area is certainly warranted. The main research question that this study addressed itself to was: Is the ability to accurately decode nonverbal communication one of the characteristics of effective clinicians? The answer to that question is a qualified "yes".

Keywords

Education, Guidance and Counseling

Link to Full Text

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